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Clin Cardiol. 2011 Aug;34(8):500-6. doi: 10.1002/clc.20933. Epub 2011 Jul 26.

The prognostic value of early left ventricular longitudinal systolic dysfunction in asymptomatic subjects with cardiovascular risk factors.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Second University of Naples, Naples.



Early diagnosis of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction represents a major challenge in asymptomatic subjects with cardiovascular (CV) risk factors. Tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) has emerged as an important tool with clinical relevance in several cardiac diseases.


To evaluate the prognostic ability of TDI in detecting early longitudinal ventricular dysfunction in a large group of asymptomatic subjects with CV risk factors (RsF), normal LV systolic function, and normal diastolic function.


A total of 554 subjects (mean age 55 ± 13 years, 39% men) formed our study population: controls, 144 healthy subjects; group 1, 163 subjects with 1 CV RsF; group 2, 147 subjects with 2 CV RsF; group 3, 100 subjects with ≥3 CV RsF. All subjects underwent a comprehensive standard echo-Doppler evaluation, including posterior wall TDI study. Follow-up data were available in all the studied samples (mean 28 ± 16 mo).


Upon follow-up, 18 individuals (3.2%) developed a first overt CV event. The presence of a peak systolic velocity <7.5 cm/second showed a significant additional predictive value compared with the presence of CV RsF (P<0.001).


Tissue Doppler imaging is able to identify early longitudinal LV systolic abnormalities in the presence of apparently normal systolic and diastolic function. It demonstrated a significant additional prognostic value compared with the simple presence of coexisting CV RsF. These findings could be clinically relevant in identifying asymptomatic subjects with CV RsF who need early, tailored preventive treatment.

© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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